Carlos Fuentes The Old Gringo.
Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 180 pages, $14.95
The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes is perhaps one of the best-known Latin American writers in the United States, nowadays not so much for his novels as for his strident polemics against U.S. policy in Central America, and his relentless liberal-baiting. People who do not know the man personally are often surprised to learn that he is not only extremely amiable in person but speaks perfect, American-accented English. He grew up here (in fact, in Washington, where his father was a diplomat) and continues to spend at least half his time in this country, which he likes very much. Indeed, his anti-Americanism is something of a pose, obligatory for any Latin American writer who wishes to remain well regarded by the more “advanced” and “progressive” elements in his own country. Perhaps...